Detailed Agenda

Our 2019 Arizona State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of over 60 speakers and experts from across the spectrum of care. The heading colors correspond to track colors on our Topical Agenda to help you organize your day.

The agenda and speaker list are driven by input from our Convening Panel of leaders in Arizona health care and we’re looking forward to a great event on May 23rd. If you’re not already registered, you can do so here.

For now, let us know if you have any questions about the conference. We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix!


8:15 - 8:30

Welcome and Introduction

This opening session will kick off the day with comments framing the conference agenda, and the role State of Reform hopes to play in this challenging era of health policy and politics.

DJ Wilson: Host, State of Reform

8:30 - 9:15

Morning Keynote: Costs and Utilization in Arizona Health Care

Robin Gelburd leads FAIR Health, an independent national nonprofit which collects data for and manages the nation’s largest database of privately billed health insurance claims. Gelburd has come out from New York City to share cost data on Arizona’s health care system. FAIR Health is known for its commitment to transparency and for making actionable data available in innovative ways to all stakeholders in the health care community.

Robin Gelburd: President, FAIR Health

9:30 - 10:15

The Future of Arizona's Public Health

The challenges facing public health are increasing - from measles outbreaks to threats to federal funding. This session will explore the changing dynamics and the new importance of public health in Arizona’s health care system.

Bob England, MD, MPH: Former Director of Public Health, Maricopa County Health Department

Marcy Flanagan: Director of Public Health, Pima County Health Department

Celina I. Valencia, DrPH: Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Arizona Cancer Center

9:30 - 10:15

Building a Business Case for the Social Determinants

It is now commonly understood that the social and built environment in which we are raised and live has direct and tremendous impact on our health. This panel of organizational leaders will talk through their approach to addressing the social determinants.

Steven Sheets: President & CEO, Southwest Behavioral & Health Services

Marcus Johnson: Director, State Policy and Advocacy, Vitalyst Health Foundation

Steve Chakmakian, DO: Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan

9:30 - 10:15

Case Studies on Value Based Care

There are varying models of value based care being developed in Arizona and across the country. This panel will highlight some of the lessons learned from those value based models, and what it would take to scale that knowledge to other parts of the delivery system.

Jim Stringham: CEO, Magellan Complete Care

Hass Rifaat: CEO, Vatica Health

Lisa Stevens Anderson: President, Q Point, Equality Health

9:30 - 10:15

Meeting the Demand for a Modern Workforce

With a population that continues to grow, cultural diversity that continues to vary, and technology that continues to advance, there is demand for both a larger and a differently prepared workforce. This session will explore the strategies underway to meet the evolving needs for a new provider workforce.

Sen. Heather Carter: Vice Chair, Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Robin Schaeffer: Executive Director, Arizona Nurses Association

Priya Radhakrishnan: Chief Academic Officer, Honor Health 

10:30 - 11:15

Capitol Insiders Discuss the 2019 Session

The session will discuss the contours and content of the 2019 legislative session. It will cover health policy, but will put that within the context of the politics and framework of the overall session. Bring your questions to what is always a well attended session.

Chuck Bassett: Vice President, Government Relations, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Greg Ensell: Vice President, Government Relations, Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association

Siman Qaasim: Director of Health Policy, Children's Action Alliance

10:30 - 11:15

Strategies to Support Behavioral Health Integration

With integration underway in Arizona Medicaid, there are early signs of both the progress and pain that comes with innovation. This breakout period will discuss the recent work on integration, and point to lessons learned from this important change in the system.

Tad Gary: COO, Mercy Care

Christy Dye: CEO, Arizona Partners in Recovery

Emily L. Jenkins: President & CEO, The Arizona Council of Human Service Providers

10:30 - 11:15

The Health Care System in a Post-ACA World

With the 2010 Affordable Care Act increasingly in the rearview mirror, policy makers are largely moving to new conversations in reform. From a Medicare for All model, to building a re-insurance backstop, this group of thought leaders will talk through where the policy conversation is heading in 2019.

Jeff Smith: Managing Principal, HMA

Greg Vigdor: Former CEO, Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association

Swapna Reddy: Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University

10:30 - 11:15

The Evolution of Plan-Provider Relations

As the policy and market forces continue to shift the ground under health care, the nature of the relationship between plans and providers is evolving. This group of market leaders will talk through what those changes look like, and how that has created a shift in the way the system works for Arizona.

Paul Barnes: President & CEO, Arizona Complete Health 

Bryan Davey: CEO, Touchstone Health Services

Jim Hammond: Publisher, The Hertel Report

11:30 - 12:15

Policy Leadership: Republicans

This panel of Republican legislators will discuss the shape, outcomes and work remaining in the 2019 legislative session. This is always a well-attended session with some of the most important policy makers in Arizona. Bring your questions and expect a good dialog.

Sen. J.D. Mesnard: Former Speaker, Arizona House of Representatives

Rep. Nancy Barto: Chair, House Health and Human Services Committee

Rep. Jay Lawrence: Vice Chair, House Health and Human Services Committee

11:30 - 12:15

Addressing Substance Abuse and Opioids

From street drugs to oxy, the challenges of substance abuse create burdens for the system both upstream and downstream. From too many prescriptions in the clinic to too little naloxone on the streets, this session will discuss the lessons learned from dealing with an increasingly complex set of issues.

Christine Bracamonte Wiggs, PhD, MPH: Director, Community Health Interventions and Health Equity, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Matthew King: Clinical Director, Fountain Hills Recovery 

Shelly Mowrey: Demand Reduction Coordinator, Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area

11:30 - 12:15

Disparities and Inequities in Health Outcomes

For all of the work of system improvement, long term structural issues remain in health care that support significant variation in outcomes on demographic and geographic lines. This session of thought leaders and on-the-ground practitioners will highlight some of the learnings from years of working to close the “outcome gap.”

Dilek Barlow: Senior Director, Wildflower Health 

Nellie Nekouie: State Director, myConnections, UnitedHealthcare

Charles Ty Reidhead, MD, MPH: Director, Phoenix Area Indian Health Service

11:30 - 12:15

Leading Provider Organizations in 2019

Leadership in health care is more important than ever. From shaping reform efforts to recruiting physicians, these leaders from an array of provider organizations will speak to their lessons on leading provider organizations, and what they are spending their mental energy on in 2019.

Roland Knox: CEO, Northern Cochise Community Hospital

Kevin Ellis, MD: Chief Medical Officer, Cigna Medical Group

Mark Stephan, MD: Chief Medical Officer, Q Point, Equality Health 

12:30 - 1:30

Lunch Keynote

Our lunch program will interview some of Arizona’s most prominent and influential senior market executives and health policy leaders. We’ll ask them forward-looking questions about system reform, and will try to leverage their experience and wisdom for a collective improvement in our understanding of the the road ahead.

Lorry Bottrill: CEO, Mercy Care

Sen. Kate Brophy McGee: Chair, Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Rep. Nancy Barto: Chair, House Health and Human Services Committee

Ann-Marie Alameddin: CEO, Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association

1:45 - 2:30

Policy Leadership: Democrats

Learn from some of the leading Democratic legislators about their work in the 2019 legislative session, as well as their vision for the upcoming interim period. They will take up policy ideas, political realities, and the consequences of federal uncertainty. Bring your questions and be ready for conversation.

Sen. Victoria Steele: Member, Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Sen. Tony Navarrete: Member, Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley: Member, House Health and Human Services Committee

Rep. Amish Shah, MD: Member, House Health and Human Services Committee

1:45 - 2:30

The Future of Medicaid

With AHCCCS driving innovation in Arizona Medicaid, plans and providers are responding in unique and progressive ways. This panel of market leaders will discuss what is on the horizon for a system that reflects a collaborative approach to public and private sector engagement. 

Lorry Bottrill: CEO, Mercy Care

Steve Purves: CEO, Maricopa Integrated Health System

Len Kirschner, MD: Former Director, AHCCCS

1:45 - 2:30

Costs and Benefits of PBMs and Pharmacy in 2019

With more “miracle drugs” on the horizon, advances in medicine will redefine what we can expect from pharmacy. But, with pricing structures that are largely untethered to costs, how will the market pay for these new benefits? This panel will discuss the tradeoffs, and how structural elements of the system both help and hinder this balance.

Anne Winter: Principal, HMA

Bill Stilling: Partner, Stilling & Harrison 

Jessie Armendt: Senior Associate, Compass Strategies

1:45 - 2:30

Building Performance Metrics in Healthcare

How can we measure success in health care?  Is it outcomes or process? Is it financial or patient-centered? This session will discuss the challenges of measuring performance and highlight some efforts that have had success, and some that haven’t.

Padma Taggarse: Executive Director, Physician Office Quality, HSAG 

David Wetherelt: Director, Business Development, 3M

Jennifer Schultz De La Rosa, PhD: Associate Director, Program Evaluation and Policy Research, University of Arizona

2:45 - 3:30

The Road Ahead for Federal Health Policy

While Congress remains divided, it is clear that pressures are building on the left and right for meaningful reform of America’s health care system. Yet, the visions could not be farther apart from one another. This panel will discuss what’s ahead in federal policy and where we can expect the conversation to lead in 2019 and beyond.

Mohit Ghose: Vice President, Government Relations, Beacon Health Options

Stephen Jennings: Associate State Director, Policy, AARP

Tara Sklar: Professor of Health Law and Director of Graduate Health Sciences Programs, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

2:45 - 3:30

Leveraging Technology to Catalyze Reform

Technology continues to offer hope for system improvement in health care, either through smoothing out processes or by causing severe disruption to them. So what does that pathway look like for technology disruption in 2019?  This panel of experts will look ahead at the looming disruption on the horizon.

Abner Mason: CEO, ConsejoSano

Swatee Surve: Founder & CEO, Litesprite

Andrea Kamenca: Faculty Associate, ASU Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation

2:45 - 3:30

An Honest Conversation about Cost Drivers

Cost is increasingly the most prominent issue in both market and policy discussions. Yet, we still have challenges talking candidly with one another about cost, and the role we each play - from consumers to providers to plans - in adding to the challenge. This session will take up the topic with a multi-silo conversation.

Ken Meyer: SVP, CFO, West Region, Beacon Health Options

Ethel Hoffman: VP, Managed Care, Dignity Health 

Josh Axene: Partner, Axene Health Partners

3:45 - 4:30

Afternoon Keynote

Jami Snyder is the Director of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, and one of Arizona’s most influential health care and health policy leaders. Snyder will join State of Reform to talk through her vision for system reform, the advisory role she plays to the governor, and how those will manifest in system transformation in 2019 and beyond. 

Jami Snyder: Director, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System